It's with great sadness that Search Engine Watch reports the death of Jim Wilson, one of web marketing's pioneering voices and the founder of one of the oldest communities dedicated to search engines, Search Engine Forums.
Jim was well known for his philosophy of sharing information freely with others, exemplified by the closing message he used for years in his popular VirtualPromote Gazette:
The Gazette is not free. It is 'Helpware.' Each week you must help one person on the web who has less knowledge than you. Pick a newsgroup posting or an email each week and help that person even if you have to visit their site to find the best answer or do a little research and get back to them. Trust me, this will make you feel better, and will help a lot of people get their sites running better. OK, you're on your honor.
I corresponded with Jim via email occasionally over the years and met him personally several times at different conferences. He was every bit as one would have expected from his writings, a kind man intrigued by the many ways one could promote web sites and bubbling with enthusiasm about passing this information on to others.
Jim's voice has been muted over the past 18 months due to his battle with congestive heart failure. He passed away on Tuesday and is survived by his wife and son. Donations to the family are being accepted.
A Jim Wilson memorial site has been created by those that worked closely with Jim, where you can learn more about the many ways he trailblazed a path for web marketers. At the site, you can view guestbook comments, add your own comments or read memorial comments and articles that have been appearing elsewhere on the web.